Assessment: conduct of assessment and appeals

Intent and objectives

To identify minimum procedural standards for managing:

  • the conduct of assessment,
  • submission of student work for assessment; and
  • student initiated review and appeals against final assessment outcomes

Scope

All assessments conducted by, or on behalf of RMIT University

Exclusions

VCE and VCAL courses (whose results are managed in accordance with the provisions of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority administrative instructions to schools.)

The research component of higher degrees by research programs

Procedure steps and actions

1. Conduct of assessment

1.1 The Dean/Head of School is responsible for ensuring that:

1.1.1 An adequate and appropriate basis for the conduct of assessment, that is consistent with the assessment policy, is established for each course managed by the school.

1.1.2 Each assessment is conducted in such a way that will:

    • maximise authenticity
    • maximise integrity
    • minimise opportunities for cheating
    • minimise opportunities for plagiarism and
    • wherever possible, facilitate flexibility to enable fair and reasonable access for all students

1.1.3 Assessment processes establish auditable and valid evidence which demonstrates that RMIT qualifications meet Australian Qualifications Framework outcome requirements.

1.1.4 Assessment of nationally endorsed and state accredited Vocational Education and Training courses is consistent with the requirements of the Australian Skills Quality Authority and the standards for National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Registered Training Organisations

1.1.5 Assessment meets the requirements and standards of external accreditation agencies (where these exist).

1.1.6 Assessment of Victorian Certificate of Education and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning courses complies with the provisions set out in the administrative information for schools provided by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

1.1.7 Where an assessment is conducted in the form of a formal examination, it is carried out in accordance with the instructions for examinations, or where local variations apply, it will meet the minimum standards established in those instructions.

1.1.8 Where an assessment is to be carried out by an external authority, then the assessment will be by the means determined by the external authority and accepted by the Academic Board, and in the case of every external assessment made by such authority will be deemed to have been made by the University.

1.1.9 Appropriate measures are implemented to ensure the integrity of items submitted for assessment in relation to authorship and originality.

1.1.10 The following details of assessment are included in the course guide for each course owned by the school before the beginning of each period over which a course is to be taught:

    • assessment task type
    • weighting allocated to each form of assessment
    • the grading system that applies
    • and any other requirements for the satisfactory completion of the course

In the case of VCE and VCAL courses the assessment details will comply with the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Study Design.

1.1.11 Any change to the form of assessment as described in the Course Guide above during the conduct of the course can only be made where:

    • notice of the proposed change has been provided to students enrolled in the course; and
    • the change is approved by the Dean/Head of School and not less than 70 percent of the students enrolled in the course

However, the Academic Registrar may vary the form of assessment where he/she is satisfied that there has been a meaningful breach in the integrity of an assessment process. Any such change will be communicated to students as soon as practicable.

In the case of VCE and VCAL courses the change must comply with the provisions of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Study Design.

1.1.12 Course assessment committees are established to manage the assessment of individual courses, including ensuring timely finalisation of results, monitoring grade distribution, scaling and moderation of results and course outcome statistics, in accordance with the procedures for moderation and validation of assessment and the course assessment committee instructions.

In the case of VCE and VCAL courses scaling of results will be carried out by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

1.1.13 Assessment of the research component of honours programs are carried out in accordance with the instructions for such components established under this procedure.

2. Approved methods for submission of student work for assessment

There are two approved methods for the submission of student work for assessment at RMIT.

2.1 e-Submission

e-Submission describes the approved University process for the electronic submission of student work for assessment. This process provides a valid and secure method for students to declare their authorship while electronically submitting work for assessment. It also enables the submitted work to be assessed and returned electronically.

Where this process is to be used, instructors/academic staff are required to include specific advice of this in assessment instructions when they are setting up assessment tasks in Blackboard and other enterprise assessment technologies. Supporting the process are two centrally-managed websites:

  • An Electronic authorisation of assessment website
    where the process to be followed by RMIT staff is described and resources provided, and
  • An Assessment declaration website
    which is broadly available to students and staff and linkable, with content able to be embedded in appropriate locations in Blackboard and Turnitin and other RMIT enterprise assessment technologies.

Students submitting work electronically for assessment are required to do so from a secure RMIT account. As they upload work for assessment, students are directed to the Assessment declaration website. They are required to ‘click through’ this website, thereby declaring their authorship of the work. e-Submission does not require the submission of a separate cover sheet.

2.2 Hard copy submission

Hard copy submission describes the approved University process for paper-based (hard copy) submission of student work for assessment.

When students submit paper-based (hard copy) work for assessment at RMIT they must use a cover sheet that includes a statement of authorship. Students must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all hard copy work they submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. The cover sheet includes a declaration that the work being presented for assessment is the student's own work.

The generic cover sheet for submission of hard copy work for assessment is available from the Student forms web page.

2.3 Method of submission

The acceptable method for submission of student work for assessment should be clarified for each course by the instructor/academic staff member at the beginning of each teaching period. Advice of acceptable methods for submission should be included in course guides.

3. Ownership and retention of work submitted for assessment

3.1 Items produced by students for assessment in an approved program of study will remain the property of the student. Where, however, in the opinion of the Dean/Head of School, the University has contributed significantly to the cost of materials, the student may be required to reimburse the University or to negotiate a transfer of ownership to the University.

3.2. For requirements in relation to student ownership of ideas produced by the student in assessment tasks, see Statute 7.1 – Intellectual Property, section 2(b).

3.3 The results of progressive assessment of students during the conduct of a course will be retained within schools for consideration in determining the final assessment results of the course.

3.4 All items submitted by a student for assessment will remain in the University or under the control of the University until the assessment is completed.

4. Review and appeals against assessment

4.1 The school that manages a course is responsible for resolving student-initiated reviews of assessment outcomes for that course in accordance with this procedure.

4.2 This section identifies the steps that must be followed where a student wishes to seek a review of, or appeal against, a final assessment result for a course.

4.3 Grounds for review and appeal

Students are entitled to seek a review of their final results for a course where any of the following grounds exist:

4.3.1 The student has evidence that an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,

4.3.2 The student has evidence that the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the course guide; or,

4.3.3 The student has evidence that the criteria published in the course guide do not meet the requirements of the relevant training package or accredited course (VET courses only); or,

4.3.4 The student has evidence that the assessment did not comply with University policies on assessment (i.e., an error in process has occurred).

Review and appeal against assessment is a two stage process as identified below.

4.4 Stage One – Review of assessments result – school level

4.4.1 Where a student has evidence that an error has occurred in determining their result as identified in the grounds for review and appeal (4.1 above) they must first seek a review of the result with the course coordinator/program manager responsible for the course. Where the course coordinator/program manager is not available the student may seek a review by the Dean/Head of School. It is recommended that students initiate this review no later than five working days after the publication of the result.

4.4.2 The usual outcomes of a review are:

      • 4.4.2.1 No error is found and the existing result stands; or,
      • 4.4.2.2 The result is amended, where an error has been found (either a result increase or decrease); or,
      • 4.4.2.3 An independent internal or external re-assessment of the work may be undertaken; or,
      • 4.4.2.4 Approval of the Dean/Head of School for an alternative or supplementary assessment may be sought by the course coordinator/program manager where, in their opinion there is insufficient evidence to determine an accurate result.

4.4.3 A VET student cannot be deemed competent merely on the basis of appeal. The student must demonstrate that they have been assessed as such via an assessment conducted by an assessor that meets the requirements of the National VET Regulator Standards.

4.4.4 Students should retain all documentation and evidence relating to the review as such evidence must be submitted with any subsequent application for formal appeal against assessment.

4.4.5 Where the student believes the outcome of the review has not resolved the issue and has evidence that that the grounds for review and appeal (4.1 above) exist they are entitled to make application to appeal to the College Appeals Committee in accordance with the provisions of Stage Two in section 4.5 below.

4.5 Stage Two – Appeal against assessment result to College Appeals Committee

4.5.1 Students are entitled to make application for appeal against a final course result to the College Appeals Committee under the following circumstances:

a) Where a student has evidence identified in the grounds for review and appeal (4.4 above); and,

b) They are able to demonstrate that they have sought a review of the result in accordance with the provision of Stage 1 above but believe that the issue has not been resolved.

4.6 Lodgement of appeals

Appeals to the College Appeals Committee concerning an assessment result must be made on the ‘Application for Appeal – College Appeals Committee’ form. The completed form must be lodged with the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College in which the school that provides the course resides no later than 20 working days after the date of official publication of the result. Students are strongly advised to be proactive and act promptly in the review and appeal process rather than wait until the maximum allowable time.

Conduct of the College Appeals Committee

Where the Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) of the College determines that the grounds for appeal as identified above have been met, the College Appeals Committee will be convened to hear the appeal within 20 working days of receipt of the Appeal, unless exceptional circumstances justify a delay.

(In competency based training programs where an appeal is upheld the only outcome is that the student be re-assessed.)

4.7 Notice of decision

The Committee will advise the student (via student email) and the Dean/Head of School of the decision within five working days of the date of the appeal hearing. This notification will include advice on appropriate avenues of review available to students.

4.8 Effect of College Appeals Committee decisions

Subject to the following limited exceptions the decision of the College Appeals Committee in relation to an appeal against an assessment result is final and cannot be used as the basis for a further appeal. However;

a) where a student has evidence that there was a breach of University regulation, policy or procedure in the handling of their appeal by the College Appeals Committee they may lodge an appeal against that breach to the University Appeals Committee within 10 working days of the date the College Appeals Committee outcome was sent. Any such appeal must clearly identify the details of the breach; and/or,

b) VET students may have the right to seek a review by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority or Higher Education Skills Victoria, where they believe that the assessment did not meet the requirements of the relevant training package or accredited course.

[Next: Supporting documents and information ]